Alas, The Suicide Squad found no salvation in weekend, two, dropping a massive 70.5% from an already disappointing $26.1 million opening weekend. That’s the biggest drop ever for a “big” comic book superhero movie, below only the 78% drop for Shaquille O’Neal’s Steel (a $17 million WB flick that opened with just $870,068 in 1,260 theaters 23 years ago today) among all relevant comic book superhero flicks. Moreover, that Free Guy, an original, star-driven studio programmer (starring a leading man, Ryan Reynolds, whose bankability is at-best inconsistent outside of the Deadpool movies) opened with $28 million this weekend, shows that it wasn’t just about Covid. Say what you will about HBO Max, but Mortal Kombat-level viewership (and The Suicide Squad logged 20% fewer households on opening weekend) arguably only works when your movie cost $55 million, not $185 million.
The best-case-scenario is that the well-reviewed DC Films sequel legs out like Wonder Woman 1984 (which earned 1.63x its ten-day total after dropping 67% from a $16.7 million debut) and ends its run with $70 million or about what Suicide Squad earned ($65 million in 2016) on its opening day. However, thus far, it’s playing closer to Fantastic Four, which kicked off August 2015 with a $25.6 million debut, fell 68% in weekend two and ended with $56 million, or 1.33x its $42.13 million ten-day cume. That would give The Suicide Squad a $57.1 million domestic cume, or $10 million below the $68 million 31-day cume of Space Jam: A New Legacy. I’ve been arguing for three years that a mega-budget Suicide Squad sequel sans Will Smith, Batman and the Joker was commercial landmine. Sometimes I hate being right.
Walt Disney’s Jungle Cruise held up in weekend three, earning $9 million (-44%) for a new $82.1 million 17-day domestic cume. It’s struggling overseas, for obvious contextual/situational reasons, and it earned $6.7 million for a new $72.2 million overseas and $154.3 million global cume. It should pass $100 million domestic and possibly reach $110 million domestic by the end. That would at least be in the ballpark of Rampage ($101 million in 2018) and Central Intelligence ($127 million in 2016), so the issue is more the $200 million budget, which frankly would have been a challenge in non-Covid times. At the very least, the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt adventure comedy will end up the year’s fourth-biggest grosser, behind A Quiet Place part II (around $160 million, and also starring Blunt), F9 (around $175 million) and Black Widow (around $185 million).
F9 became the first non-Chinese movie (sorry Detective Chinatown 3 and Hi, Mom) since the end of 2019 to top $500 million outside of North America. Fast & Furious 9 earned another $8.1 million overseas (-41% and including a huge $1.8 million opening in Taiwan) along with $510,000 (-58%) domestic. The Vin Diesel/John Cena flick has earned $172.059 million domestic, $509.3 million overseas and $681.4 million worldwide. Yes, it’ll cross $700 million worldwide within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Old has earned $74.5 million (4x is $18 million budget), The Forever Purge has earned $71 million global (almost triple its $25 million budget) and The Boss Baby: Family Business has earned $82 million (uh, 1x its $82 million budget) thus far. And yeah, M. Night Shyamalan’s Old is going to get awfully close to the $98 million cume of The Visit.
Black Widow has now earned $178 million in North America following a $2 million (-52%) sixth weekend. That’s between (sans inflation) Captain America: The First Avenger ($176 million in 2011) and the over/under $181 million likes of Ant-Man in 2015 and Thor in 2011. The Scarlett Johansson-led prequel has earned $367 million worldwide (without China), well below the MCU normal but A) just below The First Avenger ($371 million in 2011) and just above the $366 million cume of Tenet from last summer. As bears repeating, the once “disappointing” cume for the Christ Nolan sci-fi actioner is now an aspirational benchmark. Likewise, The Green Knight is a solid hit for A24 even by non-Covid standards. For those who can’t or won’t venture into theaters, A24 is doing a one-night-only VOD offering on Wednesday evening hopefully right as it tops $15 million domestic.